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    #1

    Post Where is the subject of the sentence?

    Hi there, here I has a problem regarding a sentence which I cannot find its subject----

    1--In traditional society obesity was the portliness of prosperity, and even today is more common in wealthy households.

    This is a translated sentence from Chinese, the source language; if i were the translater, I would render it as this:

    2--In traditional society obesity was the portliness of prosperity, which, even today, is more common in wealthy households.

    I think my version follows English grammar rules, while in the first sentence before "is" I cannot find the subject; or is there some grammar rules I have not learnt yet, I think may be this is the reason.

    I really hope you can give me the answer, because i am really confused.

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    #2

    Re: Where is the subject of the sentence?

    The subject is "obesity".

    Please don't change sentences around to suit your ideas of how they should go.

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    #3

    Re: Where is the subject of the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by floralyn View Post
    Hi there, here I has a problem regarding a sentence which I cannot find its subject----

    1--In traditional society obesity was the portliness of prosperity, and even today it is more common in wealthy households.

    This is a translated sentence from Chinese, the source language; if i were the translater, I would render it as this:

    2--In traditional society obesity was the portliness of prosperity, which, even today, is more common in wealthy households.

    I think my version follows English grammar rules, while in the first sentence before "is" I cannot find the subject; or is there some grammar rules I have not learnt yet, I think may be this is the reason.

    I really hope you can give me the answer, because i am really confused.
    If I were correcting it, I'd place "it" in the sentence, as above.
    Your sentence says that it's prosperity, not obesity, that is more common in wealthy households.

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    #4

    Re: Where is the subject of the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by floralyn View Post


    in the first sentence before "is" I cannot find the subject; or is there some grammar rules I have not learnt yet, I think may be this is the reason.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Floralyn:

    Yes, I agree with you: sometimes it is difficult to find the subject.

    1. First, it is only my opinion that the words "Obesity was the portliness" is very unclear, but let's forget that point and concentrate on the grammar.

    2. I think that the problem lies in the comma. Please look at this sentence if we remove the comma:

    "Obesity was the portliness of prosperity and is even today more common in wealthy households."

    a. That is what, I think, grammar books call a simple sentence with a compound predicate.

    i. The subject is "obesity."

    ii. The predicate (the verb part) is "was the portliness of prosperity" + and + "even today is more common in wealthy

    households."

    iii. Here is a simpler sentence that may make the matter clearer:

    "Yesterday the weather was warm and is still pleasant."

    (a) "Weather" = subject.

    (b) The compound predicate is "was warm and is still pleasant." Do you see how the subject of both "was warm" and "is still pleasant" is "weather"?

    *****

    3. To make things clearer and more emphatic, some people prefer to make your original sentence into a so-called compound sentence.

    That means, two sentences joined together with "and." Then you will not have a problem finding

    the subject. Look at this sentence:

    "Obesity was the portliness of prosperty, and even today obesity is more common in wealthy households."

    Since repeating the word "obesity" two times is rather boring, native speakers prefer to replace it with the

    word "it."

    (For example, I could change that simple sentence above to a compound sentence:


    Yesterday the weather was warm, and the weather is still pleasant. / Yesterday the weather was warm, and it is still pleasant.)

    I know how difficult this can be. If you have any questions, please do ask. Someone will be delighted to assist you.


    Sincerely yours,


    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 26-Aug-2012 at 13:11.

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    #5

    Re: Where is the subject of the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by floralyn View Post
    which, even today, is more common in wealthy households.
    I see no reason to use even here- rich people were fatter then and are now in some societies. How about still?

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    #6

    Re: Where is the subject of the sentence?

    To find the subject, first find the verb.

    Here there are only two: "was" ... "and" "is".

    Begin at the beginning. What "was"? Ah, obesity.

    Suddenly "and is" makes all the sense in the world: obesity was and is.

    That's all.

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